- Thoughts for inspired living

February 3, 2009


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:29 am

When I conduct my seminars, one of the questions I ask is, “Does anyone work with a filing system?”

The next question I ask is, “Is it up to date?” Most people lie and say “Yes.”

Then I ask them if they have a “Miscellaneous” file. When they say “Yes,” I tell them their system is not up to date because there is no such thing as miscellaneous. Miscellaneous is impossible to describe other than to say, “I don’t know where to put it, so I’ll put it here.”

“Miscellaneous” in life is a learning opportunity. When you encounter something or someone in life that doesn’t fit into one of your neat categories, it’s an opportunity to find out more about it or them, but more importantly, about yourself.

When you have an experience that you can’t find a place for, you may automatically tuck it away in a miscellaneous file and forget to learn the lesson it presents.

The challenge is to get closer to the person or experience so you can create a whole new category and broaden your breadth of experience. If you stay within your known categories, you’ll rarely learn anything new.

Reminds me of a story . . .

About 30 years ago I worked at a radio station in Providence, RI where we had this intern who acted like the Sean Penn character from the movie FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH. He was different than anyone I had ever met and I didn’t have a category for him. I was about to shove him in my miscellaneous file and forget about him but my curiosity wouldn’t let me. I got closer to him and found out that this goofy character had more radio savvy than most of the people who worked for years in the industry.

For example, one day I saw him winding tape cartridges for use in the studio. To wind a cartridge (think 8 Track), you used a winding machine. After the tape was wound, you had to splice the two ends together to make the tape play in a continuous loop. The splice was done on a 45 degree angle and a piece of splicing tape was put across the splice to hold the tape together. Most people in our industry knew how to do this but this kid was doing something different. Before he put the piece of splicing tape on the diagonal cut he had made, he scraped each side of the recording tape. I asked him why he did that. He said the tape sticks better when you scrape some of the emulsion off the recording tape before applying the splicing tape.

I learned a lot more from this kid, stuff I may have never learned if I kept him stuffed in my miscellaneous file.

The next time you run into something or someone you don’t know where to put, get closer. It will stretch you as a person and not subject you to the abyss known as miscellaneous.

All the best,


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